Men's Basketball Can Clinch Title At Home
Feb. 7, 2001
Game No. 22 - University of San Francisco
Friday, February 9 - 7:30 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: ESPN 630 AM The Score 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Net (Channel 34 on Spokane AT&T Cable)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (16-5, 8-0 in West Coast Conference)
G - 21 Dan Dickau, 6-0, 170, Jr., Vancouver, WA
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (10-13, 3-5 in West Coast Conference)
Sunday, February 11 - 2 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: KXLY 920 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: Omega Television (Channel 22 on Spokane AT&T Cable)
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (2-19, 0-8 in West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS TAKE BATTLE OF UNBEATENS: Gonzaga University took over sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference with a sweep of the Los Angeles schools last weekend. The Bulldogs started the trip with a 93-79 win over previously undefeated Pepperdine University and completed the sweep with an 84-64 victory at Loyola Marymount University. For the second straight season the Bulldogs and Waves went into their contest 6-0 in the WCC, and for the second straight season it was the Bulldogs who prevailed in the first meeting. Gonzaga will hope history doesn't repeat itself when the teams have their re-match Feb. 17 in The Kennel, Pepperdine taking the second meeting a year ago in edging the Bulldogs by one game for the WCC regular-season title.
BULLDOGS CAN CLINCH AT HOME: Home, Sweet Home. Gonzaga University is 8-0 in The Kennel this season and 111-9 over the past 10 years. With their next four outings in The Kennel beginning with Friday's invasion from the University of San Francisco and Sunday's 2 p.m. matinee against Saint Mary's College, the Bulldogs are in position to clinch the top seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament in front of the home fans. By closing out the home season with four straight victories, the Bulldogs would clinch no worse than a tie for the WCC regular-season title with Pepperdine University. But a win over the Waves in the home finale would give Gonzaga the season series and assure Gonzaga of no worse than a first-place tie with the Waves, assuming the Waves win out between now and Feb. 17. Thus, Gonzaga would win any tiebreaker situation by virtue of the two wins over Pepperdine and with it the top seed into the WCC Tournament.
SINGE THE TWINE: It's not like Gonzaga University hadn't shot the ball well this year - four times over 60.0 percent and six other times at 50.0 percent or better from the field entering last week. But last weekend the Bulldogs shot "lights out" in back-to-back wins at Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University. The Bulldogs poured in 80.0 percent of their second-half shots (16-of-20) against Pepperdine, then followed that up with 64.0 percent (16-of-25) and 66.7 percent (16-of-24) halves, respectively, against LMU. The "worst" half of basketball for the Bulldogs was the first half at Pepperdine, going a mere 14-of-25 for 56.0 percent. Gonzaga went 62-of-94 for 66.0 percent in the two games. The 80.0 percent second half against the Waves tied the school record for percentage in a half, the Bulldogs going 16-for-20 against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 16, 1988. The 66.7 percent against Pepperdine ties for the sixth best shooting percentage in a game in school history. The school record is 71.8 percent (28-of-39) against Saint Mary's College on Jan. 13, 1996.
BULLDOGS LEAD NCAA: Gonzaga University's hot weekend from the field vaulted the Bulldogs into the top spot in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 51.5 percent. Gonzaga has connected on 593-of-1,152 attempts from the field. The Bulldogs lead Austin Peay University and the University of Kansas, both knotted for second at 50.6 percent. The school record for single-season field goal percentage is 52.0 percent in 1988-89.
WINNING STREAK RECORD ON LINE: With 10 straight victories to their credit, Gonzaga University can equal the school record of 11 when the University of San Francisco visits The Kennel Friday for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs fell to 6-5 on the season following an 81-80 overtime loss to the University of New Mexico in the Spokane Arena on Jan. 2. The Bulldogs have been tough the remainder of the New Year, starting their current streak with a 93-36 thumping of Northwest College on Jan. 4 in The Kennel, topping Prairie View A&M University 93-50 in the Spokane Arena on Jan. 6 and opening West Coast Conference play with eight straight wins. The Bulldogs were 8-6 a year ago on the heels of back-to-back losses to the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado in the Rainbow Classic, then reeled off 11 straight victories prior to suffering back-to-back defeats to Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego. Prior to last season the Bulldogs had two other 10-game winning streaks - the 1992-93 season and the 1965-66 season.
ANOTHER QUICK START: For the third straight season Gonzaga University is out of the blocks quickly in the West Coast Conference chase. Gonzaga opened last season's WCC action with a 9-0 record prior to dropping back-to-back games at Pepperdine University and at home to the University of San Diego. In 1999 the Bulldogs raced to an 8-0 start prior to dropping their first WCC outing of the season at USD. Gonzaga has started each of the past five seasons of WCC play no worse than 2-0 since dropping the WCC opener in 1996.
ON THE TUBE: Gonzaga University's game Friday against the University of San Francisco will be televised on most FOX Sports Net affiliates on the West Coast. Viewers in Spokane can catch the action on Channel 34 on the AT&T Broadband cable system. Check local listings elsewhere for the station and time in your area. Gametime is 7:30 p.m. PST. Sunday's game will be televised by Omega Television and be aired on all AT&T Broadband cable systems in the state of Montana as well as on KSKN Channel 22 on AT&T Broadband in Spokane.
CALVARY WOODEN AWARD NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is one of the top 30 mid-season candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. The mid-season list was released Dec. 28. Calvary was originally one of the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net. The top 50 Candidates have been selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the Mid-season Top 30 during a half-hour program on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S ROOKIE SEASON: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few had one of the best rookie seasons in NCAA history, the Bulldogs' 26 wins ranking him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." He's tied with such coaching legends as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University (1977), Denny Crum of the University of Louisville (1972) and Nolan Richardson of Tulsa University (1981). All won 26 games as rookie head coaches at the NCAA Division I level.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 26 wins last season second only behind the 1999 school record mark of 28-7 mark. Last year marked the fourth time the Bulldogs hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
BULLDOGS IN THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 111-9 at home for a nifty 92.5 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 last season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country. The Bulldogs are 8-0 at home this season and have a winning margin of 27.9 ppg.
CALVARY PASSES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU... Senior forward Casey Calvary has become the 22nd player in Gonzaga University history to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, entering Friday's game with the University of San Francisco with 1,315 points. That ranks him 12th in school history. He needs 26 points to move past John Stockton (1,340) and into 11th. Calvary should move into the top 10, needing 40 more points to surpass Bill Suter at No. 10 with 1,354.
...AND SURPASSES 600 REBOUNDS: Casey Calvary became just the fourth player in Gonzaga University history to join the 1,000-point/600-rebound club. He grabbed 7 rebounds against Monmouth University on Dec. 30, 2000, to join the 600 rebound club. He has 670 rebounds entering Friday's game with the University of San Francisco to rank fourth on the all-time list. Last weekend he moved past Jim Dixon (666 from 1962-63). Jerry Vermillion (1,547 points/1,670 rebounds), Gary Lechman (1,452/910) and Greg Sten (1,168/783) are the other three members of the 1,000 points/600 rebound club.
BLOCK PARTY: With three blocks against Santa Clara University on Jan. 25, 2001, Casey Calvary became the most prolific shot blocker in West Coast Conference history with 186. With 30 this season, Calvary now has 190 in his career. Calvary is by far the all-time leader in GU history (Tim Ruff is second with 99).
CALVARY WCC PLAYER OF WEEK: Senior forward Casey Calvary has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for leading Gonzaga University to its sweep in Los Angeles. He averaged 20.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, hit 16-of-20 shots from the field, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and 6-of-10 from the free throw line. He had 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks and just 4 turnovers in 62 minutes.
HERNANDEZ CAREER HIGHS: Alex Hernandez came off the bench for career highs of 15 points and 8 rebounds at Pepperdine University. Hernandez scored 7 straight Bulldog points in :56 in one second-half stretch to extend a 4-point Gonzaga lead to 11 points with 3:13 to go.
BANKHEAD SIDELINED AGAIN: Backup guard Kyle Bankhead, who was cleared to play on Jan. 26, suffered a relapse of his injured left hand. A piece of the broken bone shifted out of alignment during practice prior to last week's games, and he was placed in a hard cast to help hold the bone in place. He will be examined Thursday and his status for this weekend determined. He suffered a broken third metacarpal on his left hand the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play and has not played in six straight games. The walk-on redshirt freshman scored in double digits each of the last four games prior to the injury. He's averaging 10.5 ppg in that stretch.
SCOUTING THE DONS: The University of San Francisco brings a 3-game winning streak into The Kennel for Friday's game. The Dons opened the West Coast Conference season 0-5, beginning with a 78-58 setback to Gonzaga University in the WCC opener Jan. 12 in War Memorial Gym. Darrell Tucker, last year's WCC Freshman of the Year who was pulled from the starting lineup for three games prior to the WCC opener, leads the Dons with his 17.6 ppg and is averaging 18.0 ppg in WCC action. He has paced the Dons in scoring in 4-of-8 WCC games, including a season-high 32 points against the University of Portland on the opening weekend of WCC play. Hondre Brewer enters Friday's contest with 89 blocks, 8 shy of breaking the WCC single-season mark of 96 set by Edgar Jones of the University of Nevada during the 1977-78 campaign.
BULLDOGS VS. DONS: Gonzaga University leads the series against the University of San Francisco 25-19 and has won six straight since an 80-67 loss in the title game of the 1998 West Coast Conference Tournament at Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs have won 18 of the last 22 meetings, including this year's WCC opener 78-58 at War Memorial Gym. Gonzaga has won 11 straight over the Dons in The Kennel, the last USF win a 67-64 decision in 1989. GU swept last year's series, 96-73 at home, 70-64 at USF.
SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's College is winless in eight West Coast Conference outings, is 2-19 overall and has lost 12 straight entering Friday's game at the University of Portland. SMC's last win was 71-63 at home against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 22. Jovan Harris leads the Gaels in scoring at 14.5 ppg, and has been the leading scorer in 10 of the last 13 games. He's the only Gael averaging in double figures. Starting center Chris Baert has been the leading scorer in the other three games over that stretch including both games last week in home-and-home losses to the University of San Francisco.
BULLDOGS VS. GAELS: Gonzaga leads the series 30-20 and has won six straight, including the first meeting this year 102-48 in Moraga on Jan. 13. Gonzaga has won 13 of the last 15 contests. The last win by the Gaels in the series was a 76-73 in McKeon Pavilion in 1998. SMC hasn't won in The Kennel since 1995.
BULLDOGS WIN 200TH: Gonzaga University's win at the University of Montana earlier this year was the 200th for the Bulldogs in the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga is 211-88 since the 1991-92 season for a .706 winning percentage.
0-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 30, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 253 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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